After dropping a couple of games early, the Trinbago Knight Riders have got their CPL18 campaign back on track with back-to-back wins against St Lucia and Jamaica. The Tridents however remain a huge question mark, they’ve been a hard team to read so far with a form guide reading WLWL in their four matches.
Barbados has the potential to take out this year’s CPL title, but as it stands they continue to falter in the same areas of their game. Those areas are located at the top of their batting order where Martin Guptill just can’t seem to get going with the bat, while skipper Jason Holder’s continuous struggles with the ball is becoming a problem as well. Guptill’s batting-woes have forced the Tridents to reshuffle their order a number of times, and as a result of that the dangerous Shai Hope has dropped down the line-up which has halted the teams momentum. In their last outing, both Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran were promoted which pushed the red-hot Steve Smith down to No. 6 where he scored just four runs late in the innings. The Tridents can’t afford to reshuffle their side in order to cater for an out-of-form player, Guptill might be dropped if he can’t find form soon. Barbados will be banking on Dwayne Smith, Steve Smith and Shai Hope to heavily impact the contest with the bat, they’re all notable match-winners who’ve shown positive signs of dominating in CPL18. Tower-like Pakistani seamer Mohammad Irfan produced a stunning display of quick bowling against the Patriots, tightening the screws on the opposition with three maidens in his phenomenal 2/1 which included 23 dot balls. Pakistani teammate Wahab Riaz was once again consistent in his contribution with the ball claiming 1/17, unfortunately they had a few too many passengers that day though. After starting CPL18 on fire, Raymon Reifer has been expensive as well as going wicketless in his past two outings, while Jason Holder has mediocre figures of 2/141 for the tournament. They have a difficult task ahead of them as the Knight Riders look to make it three in a row.
Knight Riders speedster Ali Khan may have encountered a bumpy road in recent times, but his team on the other hand seems to be on the up after successive victories in their past two games. Currently sitting third on this year’s CPL points table, Trinbago would be unlucky to fall out of the top half of the standings now with some of their star players starting to shine. Black Caps T20 specialist Colin Munro has been among Trinbago’s best performers in CPL18, he’s scored 256 runs at 51.20 from his five innings and has undoubtedly been the barometer in the Knight Riders batting order. One of Australia’s finest ball-strikers Chris Lynn has struggled to do what he does best, and that’s sending the ball skyrocketing into the stands. In his past three matches for Trinbago, Lynn has scored an unsatisfactory 12 runs thanks to a string of single digit scores which haven’t gone unnoticed. It would be a dream-like scenario if all three of Lynn, McCullum and Munro were able to all fire consistently, maybe they’re saving their best for last later in the playoffs? One player to watch out for approaching the final stages of the tournament is Darren Bravo, he probably flies under the radar due to the quality of their top order. Bravo’s past three contributions with the bat have been of high class, in that time he’s averaged 92.50 but more importantly made up for Lynn’s absence in the runs department. Both Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo have been far from their best in CPL18, they’ve each had their moments but certainly haven’t stood out. Leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed has been serviceable without dominating, but they really need one of Bravo or Narine to reignite them with the ball as well as Ali Khan who’s been taken to the cleaners in his past two matches.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Barbados Tridents | CPL | 18th match | Kensington Oval
- Shai Hope
- Wahab Riaz
- Steve Smith
- Mohammad Irfan
- Dwayne Smith
Wildcard pick – Jason Holder
Top 5 fantasy picks | Trinbago Knight Riders | CPL | 18th match | Kensington Oval
- Colin Munro
- Darren Bravo
- Brendon McCullum
- Dwayne Bravo
- Fawad Ahmed
Wildcard pick – Ali Khan
Barbados Tridents (possible) – 1. Dwayne Smith 2. Martin Guptill/Hashim Amla 3. Jason Holder © 4. Shai Hope 5. Steve Smith 6. Nicholas Pooran (wk) 7. Roston Chase 8. Ashley Nurse 9. Raymon Reifer 10. Wahab Riaz 11. Mohammad Irfan.
Trinbago Knight Riders (possible) – 1. Sunil Narine 2. Chris Lynn 3. Colin Munro 4. Brendon McCullum 5. Darren Bravo 6. Denesh Ramdin (wk) 7. Dwayne Bravo © 8. Javon Scantlebury-Searles/Kevon Cooper 9. Ali Khan 10. Fawad Ahmed 11. Khary Pierre.